Latin American criminal gangs ‘helping’ battle COVID-19 outbreaks

In Latin American countries like Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Mexico, it is not just governments which are battling the coronavirus.
Organised crime gangs have been quick to publicise their efforts in combating the spread.
Al Jazeera’s John Holman reports.

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In This Story: Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles)[11] and with over 211 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous.

Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states and the Federal District. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas, as well as the most populous Roman Catholic-majority country.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It borders all other countries in South America except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent’s land area. Its Amazon basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats.

The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d’état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed.

Brazil’s current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Brazil is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country.

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    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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  • In This Story: Mexico

    Mexico is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is the most populous Spanish-speaking nation. Mexico City is its capital city and largest metropolis. Other major urban areas include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and León.

    Pre-Columbian Mexico traces its origins to 8,000 BC and was home to civilizations including the Maya and the Aztecs. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory, which then became known as New Spain. The Catholic Church played an important role as millions of indigenous inhabitants converted. These populations were exploited to mine rich deposits of precious material, which became a major source of wealth for the Spanish. Mexico became an independent nation state after the successful Mexican War of Independence against Spain in 1821.

    Under the Institutional Revolutionary Party, Mexico was a de facto one-party state from 1929 until 2000.

    Mexico is a developing country, but has the world’s 15th-largest economy by nominal GDP and the 11th-largest by PPP, with the United States being its largest economic partner. Since 2006, a conflict between the government and drug trafficking syndicates has led to over 120,000 deaths.

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